Over the last few days, while I’ve been celebrating Passover, some big events have occured in the gaming world.
First of all, Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away late Tuesday, April 7. I made a post about wanting to know more about Dave on Wednesday, as I was finalizing my preparations for Passover, only to have the confirmation of his death hit the gaming world later that day. I have been gathering posts in a “To Read” bookmarks folder so that I can learn a bit more about Dave before I sit down and record a short special podcast episode, much as I did when Gary Gygax passed away last year.
What most hits me about Dave’s passing is that I have been reminded of how ignorant I am of the history of this hobby that I continually seek to make my business in some way, shape or form. Over the last year we have lost a handful of early luminaries in the hobby gaming field — Gary Gygax, Erick Wujcik and Dave Arneson being but three names that immediately come to mind — and really, aside from the fact that Gary and Dave made D&D, and Erick made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game, I know little to nothingabout their history in our hobby, and what their true legacy is. This is a very young field, barely past a generation in age, and yet we have no formal history documents while we have already begun to lose the early pioneers. Something needs to be done soon.
The thing that I’m most bothered about relates to the second set of big news, Wizards of the Coast’s decision to pull all PDFs from all sales outlets. Thanks to that, I cannot get any old Dave Arneson products to read and have for posterity. Thanks, WotC.
The whole Wizards PDF thing has me aching to sit down and record an episode of The Digital Front Podcast, but at the moment I simply do not have the time for personal/family reasons. I have been catching up on the industry’s reaction to that bonehead maneuver by offering a number of sales on PDF products. Some retailers have thrown a tizzy over the PDF sales, but at least one publisher (ah, Nicole, I know I can always count on you) has fired back, and another retailer has flat-out stated why PDFs are good for his brick-n-mortar store.
Perhaps once I am done dealing with my current family issue I’ll have time to properly digest all the information that has come out and perhaps pull in one or two guests to record a show on the topic (in fact, I am looking forward to). In the meantime, I continue to marvel at WotC’s decisions, hoping they will one day get anything dealing with a digital component right.